Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Egypt arrests activists protesting detention over coronavirus concerns

Egypt has arrested four leading intellectual female activists who have been campaigning for the release of prisoners during the midst of the coronavirus; they were arrested on charges of spreading false news and violating Egypt’s protest ban.

The activists arrested were all part of the same family. Mona Seif is a prominent activist; as is her professor mother Laila Soueif; novelist aunt Ahdaf Soueif and professor aunt Rabab al-Mahdi; all of whom have been arrested for protesting outside the cabinet building. 

In a live stream for Facebook, Mona Seif was recorded saying;

"We are in front of the cabinet building, asking for the state to take serious steps regarding coronavirus in prisons. As we know, at the best of times Egypt's prisons are clusters for disease". 

Al Jazeera notes that human rights groups have consistently criticised Egypt for its detention of tens of thousands without trial due to their political views as well as issues of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions. 

Human Rights Watch has echoed the voice of the protesters stating that a disaster can be avoided if Egyptian authorities arrange for a conditional release of prisoners.

In Egypt the health ministry has recorded, as of reporting, 256 cases of the coronavirus with a death toll of 7.

Read more from Reuters

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.